I’m not quite sure what it is I love about autumn. Maybe it’s those crisp early mornings, when the sky is a clear cerulean blue yet there is a definite chill in the air. Maybe it’s the way the trees turn russet and gold and scatter their leaves across the ground. Maybe it is warm socks and hot chocolate and bonfires, or the fact that my son was born in October. Or maybe it is Hallowe’en, which has always sent a shiver through my soul.
Personally, I think it’s a combination of all of these, and more. Autumn represents, for me, a time of regeneration. Everything must come to an end, and autumn does that in style, and in beautiful shades of red and orange and gold.
I will be spending a week in Crete mid-October, but I am looking forward to my return, when we will be pumpkin-carving and scarf-wearing and decorating the house in preparation for the 31st October. Deep down, I feel a great sense of anticipation when October comes around, and I can’t even explain why. Maybe it harkens back to my pagan ancestry, and the annual celebration of Samhain, marking the end of the harvest and the beginning of the “darker half” of the year.
I have never been particularly spiritual, but the only belief system that has ever turned my head is paganism. I can’t muster any great passion to follow a religion fervently, but if I did I would probably be a Wiccan. I can’t even explain what draws me to that particular path. I’ve always had an interest in witchy things; herbal medicine, divination, cats as familiars. In a past life, I think I was probably that strange single woman who lived on the outskirts of a village, in a tiny cottage with a herb garden and only a cat for company. I would predict the weather and cure various ailments with plants from my garden. Eventually, I would probably be accused of witchcraft as a farmer I had argued with lost his cattle to bovine TB.
I do have a fascination for old lores and legends, and Halloween is part of that. Sometimes, I wish for a simpler life and the opportunity to eke out a living from the land. I crave a green finger, and a little herb garden of my own.
Unfortunately, modern life has far too many stresses and complications right now. I think I was born into the wrong age. But maybe one day, I will have the opportunity to cultivate my cottage life in the country. Until then, I will celebrate Halloween with the rest of the population, carve pumpkins with my son, and light a candle for Samhain and the end of the harvest. Blessed be!